The Basics of SEO
Search engine optimization and SEO – these two phrases send most people into cold sweats and immediate dread. While that’s certainly understandable (after all search engine optimization is hard!), it also shouldn’t be the case.
Well, lucky for you, TRC is here to help. We believe using the internet as a valuable marketing tool shouldn’t be overwhelming or scary. To that end, we’ve put together this handy guide on everything you need to know about SEO.
Find information on content marketing, SEO keywords, latent semantic indexing, and link building below. With that knowledge under your belt, safely optimizing your site for search engines should be a breeze.
If after learning why repeating the same keyword over and over again doesn’t work, you’re still unsure about content marketing – give us a call. We have years of experience in the trenches of search engine optimization and are happy to help.
There’s some technical talk in the following paragraphs (okay…there’s a lot of technical talk!). Skip to the bottom to find a glossary of key SEO terms.
It’s Not All About SEO Keywords Anymore
SEO and content marketing (we use those terms interchangeably, find out why below!) have a long history. They’ve been around since the dawn of internet search. Years before Google, Yahoo, and Bing, there were Archie and AltaVista.
In the days of yore, search engines determined how a page should rank based on SEO keywords. To rank in the #1 position, get a ton of clicks, and sell a ton of products, all you had to do was repeat the same keyword over and over (and over and over) again.
Thankfully, Google and co. are a bit more advanced today. Instead of using SEO keywords, they use something called latent semantic indexing (LSI). While SEO keywords are centered around a short phrase, latent semantic indexing is centered around topics.
Say, for example, you type “car detailing” into a search engine and the #1 result doesn’t mention car detailing once. Well, after reading through their page, you notice they do talk about carwashes, waxes, vacuums, and a whole host of other car detailing type information. That’s where SEO keywords fall short and latent semantic indexing shines.
Your business can benefit from using latent semantic indexing because it’s the future of search. While you may be able to get away with using SEO keywords for the next couple of years, they won’t last forever. Why handicap yourself by using out-of-date practices?
As Google becomes more and more complex (thanks to algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin), latent semantic indexing is one of the many ways it ensures that searchers get the best content available. This brings us neatly to the importance of content marketing!
SEO Should Be Called Content Marketing
While search engine optimization is a term that’s been around forever, it’s not actually that accurate. It’s simply stuck around forever because it’s kind of catchy and sounds pretty high-tech. Inbound and content marketing are much more precise ways to describe most internet marketing activity.
Optimizing a page to perform well in search results and increase the visibility of your brand is, in reality, a form of content marketing and content marketing, as the name suggests, is about using your business’s content to attract customers.
And here’s where we come to an old adage – content is king. There have always been ways to game the SEO ecosystem. Some of them are mentioned below when talking about link building. Search engines always catch onto these shortcuts though. The only way to dominate the SERPs (search engine result pages) is to create totally amazing content.
It’s important to remember that content marketing is about more than simply writing pages, articles, and blogs. There are a million and one forms of content. There’s text, certainly, but there’s also video, images, infographics, memes, slideshows, interactive content, and so much more.
To be successful at content marketing requires a knowledge of all the many types of content out there. It’s not enough to write a blog once a week. Nope, you need to be producing stellar content on a regular basis, sharing it on social media, and getting the attention of thought leaders in your business’s niche.
Hey, that sounds a lot like link building!
The Importance (& Dangers) of Link Building
No discussion on SEO/content marketing would be complete without talking about link building. Much like the evolution of SEO keywords into latent semantic indexing, the practice of link building has changed drastically over the years.
Search engines use links as ranking signals. While it’s fiercely debated how much impact links have on the SERPs, it’s generally agreed on that they’re the second most important part of ranking, first is the content itself!
In years past, websites would manipulate search engines with a ton of low-quality, spam links. This was the extent of link building for probably ten years. Trying the same thing today will result in your site being penalized and possibly even deindexed!
Today, link building is, once again, about content marketing. It’s about getting your quality content in front of the eyes of consumers and thought leaders. Consumers will enjoy your content (assuming it provides them unique value) and link to you. Thought leaders will share your content (again, assuming it provides unique value) and link to you. This will also lend your content credibility and put it in front of even more consumers.
This type of natural, or editorial, link building is what Google and co. wants to see. If they see you gaining links like this, they’ll reward your website by pushing it up in the SERPs. If they see you engaging in manipulative practices, they won’t. It’s that simple.
Why Hire TRC for Your SEO?
Okay, all of the above information is a lot to take in. Content marketing, SEO keywords, link building, latent semantic indexing…it’s intense. There’s a reason most business owners decide to outsource their search engine optimization needs.
That’s where TRC Multimedia enters the picture. Simply put, we’re the best SEO company out there. We have years of experience. We know the ins and outs of how search engines operate. We know what to do to boost your rankings and, more importantly, what to avoid. We’re the experts.
Why should you hire us for your search engine optimization services? Simple, we’re better than the rest. Call us today to find out why!
Glossary of Key SEO Terms
- Anchor Text
– this is the part of a link which a user can click on. It’s important to never over optimize anchor text.
- Black Hat
– this is a type of SEO that’s considered to be breaking the rules of major search engines. It can include things like cloaking, spammy links, and unethical on-site practices.
– also known as a spider, these are the programs that search engines use to index the internet.
- Do Follow Link
– these are types of links that pass on “link juice” and can help to boost a pages rankings in search engines.
- Head Term Keyword
– these are broad keywords. For example, “shoes” and “office buildings” are head term keywords.
- Internal Linking
– this is a practice in link building where you link pages of your site together. This allows link juice to flow between your entire site and can boost rankings on a domain-wide level.
- Keyword Research
– this is how you pick what search engine optimization keywords and latent semantic indexing terms to use in your content. It consists of looking up search volumes for certain terms, seeing who else is ranking for potential keywords, how hard it would be to rank for a specific keyword, and analyzing what value that keyword offers your site.
- Link Building
– the practice of obtaining links to your site. This allows search engines to determine what your site is about, how relevant it is, how authoritative it is, and where it should go in the SERPs.
- Link Juice
– also known as link equity, this is the boost in ranking that links give. It can be passed between pages using do follow links.
- Long Tail Keywords
– these are keywords that are more conversational. For example, “what’s the cheapest bicycle” and “good restaurants in the Seattle area” are long tail keywords.
– the particular industry your business and website occupy. Within niches, there are sub-niches. So, for example, a website about addiction recovery would be in the healthcare niche and the addiction sub-niche.
- No Follow Link
– this is a link that passes on no link juice.
– this is when a particular page does too much of a particular SEO tactic. An example is SEO keyword stuffing.
– a Google algorithm update that targeted sites with low quality content.
– a Google algorithm update that targeted sites with unnatural and spammy links.
– search engine results page.
- Thought Leaders
– experts in any given niche.
- Topicality/Topic Modeling
– similar to latent semantic indexing, topicality is the idea of sculpting a piece of content around a topic rather than a few keywords. An example is this very page you’re reading.
- Unique Value
– what your content offers that no other content does.
- White Hat
– this is a type of SEO that stays well within search engines’ guidelines as to how to maintain and website.